Brock Lesnar has once again made a television return during last night’s Monday Night Raw. With Lesnar signing a two year extension with the WWE how can his Professional Wrestling career move forward and regain it’s past heights of success?
When Brock Lesnar first Debuted in the WWE in 2002, he made an impressive impact in a relatively short amount of time. Though his first WWE run only last 2 years, Lesnar accomplished a career’s worth of milestones as he became the 2002 King of the Ring winner, 2003 Royal Rumble winner, defeated multiple legendary names, and became the youngest WWE Champion. From 2002 to 2004 Brock Lesnar was billed, and became, the “Next Big Thing” and was a force to be reckoned with as he was one of, if not the only, “super heavyweight” that could not only over power any one of his opponents, but also match and outperform them in speed and agility. I think it’s safe to say that this monster’s first two years in the WWE were nothing short of impressive.
Fast forward to April of 2012, after an 8 year absence, Lesnar made his shocking return to the WWE the night after WrestleMania 28. Lesnar’s return that night was the gem on top of one of the hottest, most exciting Monday Night Raw’s in recent years as he appeared in front of an electric crowd that cheered in excitement and shock as he delivered a very enjoyable F-5 to John Cena. There was great potential to stir things up in the world of the WWE with the return of Brock Lesnar and his immediate feud with John Cena. The build was a big hint/tease for Lesnar to once again become a prominent player in the main event scene; however, it was cut short and resulted in an extremely disappointing ending. Brock Lesnar and John Cena would face off one on one in a brutal and highly intense Extreme Rules Match at WWE’s Extreme Rules PPV. The match saw many elements that fans had been missing for years; brutality, blood, and legitimate interest in a match. This match could have easily kept ,and further pushed, the returning Lesnar’s momentum; however, the result of the match stayed within what CM Punk call’s, “the soul crushing status qua” and John Cena emerged victorious after being legitimately beaten silly and manhandled by Lesnar.
From his feud with John Cena, Lesnar would then go on to feud with Triple H. This feud was not worth too much of a mention as it rarely saw either man appear on Raw to help build the momentum for their match at SummerSlam. Now, heading into this match many felt that the potential backstage politics that allegedly follow Triple H would end up resulting in Lesnar losing his second high profile match against an already established star; completely killing any momentum or interest Lesnar could have brought to the table. Luckily, the only real silver lining to come out of that feud was a Lesnar victory at the biggest event of the Summer.
Fast forward again, and here we find ourselves with Lesnar’s television return at the closing segment of last night’s Monday Night Raw and deliver an F-5 to the Chairman, Vince McMahon. The big question now is: Where do they go from here?
The obvious situation at this point is that Brock Lesnar’s attack on Vince McMahon will ultimately lead to a rematch between Triple H and Lesnar at WrestleMania 29, which will most likely end up with Triple H emerging victorious and getting his revenge from SummerSlam. Though this can be a slightly intriguing angle to build during the next few months; this does not seem like the best use of Lesnar. If this is the plan that Vince and the Creative Team stick with then I truly hope that Lesnar goes back to his old WWE style of wrestling. His MMA/WWE mix during his match with John Cena was interesting as it was done in a physical, intense, and believable fashion, but when he tried this same style with Triple H it just didn’t seem to mesh well. If Lesnar can go back to his 2002-2004 style the match between these two can be saved as Brock was able to work with many different opponents of different styles and make it work. This could also be a great way for Triple H to “retire” from his in-ring career and make his transition to full-time office management. At this point Hunter is much more valuable backstage than he is in the ring as he has been behind many of the WWE’s most intriguing hires over the last year or so.
Moving beyond this year’s Road to WrestleMania, where can the WWE go in terms of story and development with Brock Lesnar. It is rumored that his two year extension matches up very much like his current contract where he will only be contractually obligated to make 4 PPV appearance’s per year with scattered dates for television appearances. If that is the case, then the WWE needs to build Brock back up to being the unstoppable machine he was back during his first run with the company. Let Lesnar pick up a clean win over John Cena. This would immediately re-legitimize Lesnar to the casual fans who tend to love John Cena. From there they can continue to have Brock’s few appearances feature him destroying whoever stands in his, or Paul Heyman’s way.
If the WWE wants to get it’s best use out of Brock Lesnar in the coming two years then they’re going to have to stop putting him in feuds with already established names within the WWE. Lesnar can be a great avenue to build WWE’s next breakout stars. Don’t necessarily make Brock lose most of his matches to these younger guys, but make them take Brock to his “limit.” For example, this could be a great way to build a guy like Antonio Cesaro who is a legitimate power-house. Yes, this would require either Cesaro or Lesnar to turn face; however if written right it could be a very beneficially feud. The same potential could be there with Daniel Bryan. Working with Lesnar would be a great way for Bryan to truly show his expertise in submission wrestling and go at it will the behemoth grappler, Brock Lesnar.
Looking forward, Brock Lesnar’s appearances will once again be limited at best by the looks of his current and most recent signing. The biggest question at this point is how will the WWE get it’s money’s worth out of Brock Lesnar? With the amount of money that is rumored to be put into Lesnar’s contract the WWE better be looking to use Brock wisely not only to make Brock look good, but younger up and coming talent as well. From here all we can do is speculate where this deal will go and tune in to see the results.